116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — For many years, the Veterans Memorial Tennis Center in Cedar Rapids has played host to the Class 2A boys’ state tennis tournament.
Come next spring, the tournament will move south to the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Center on the campus of the University of Iowa.
It marks the second state tournament in as many years to leave Cedar Rapids for the Iowa City area. This year's state volleyball tournament, set for Oct. 31-Nov. 3, will be held for the first time at Xtream Arena in Coralville after 31 years in Cedar Rapids.
“We worked with several potential sites and sincerely appreciate the efforts of our past hosts in Cedar Rapids, Ankeny, and Des Moines for their contributions to Iowa high school tennis,” said IHSAA Communications Director Chris Cuellar in a news release Wednesday afternoon. “We are excited for two new sites to provide championship experiences alongside our longtime hosts at Byrnes Park in Waterloo.”
The contract to hold the state meet in Cedar Rapids expired after last spring's tournament.
“It has been in Cedar Rapids for at least 30 years,” said Randy Krecji, who has been the tournament director at the Cedar Rapids site since it moved to the city. “To me, it's just disappointing to see the city with no state tournaments any longer.”
Krecji, who has also officiated and assisted at the state volleyball tournament for many years, said it is the same feeling he had about volleyball leaving.
“I think I'm as bummed out as many in the volleyball community are right now,” he said. “It's a tough thing for our community.”
However, Krecji was quick to point out the obvious advantages of having the tournament at the HTRC, which has 12 outdoor courts and eight indoor courts just steps away if the weather doesn't cooperate, as was the case last year.
“I have no doubt that was a big factor in their decision,” Krecji said. “It was tough when the weather forced the tournament to move to one or two different sites. That did make it tough on coaches who had multiple players in the tournament.
“The facility (at Iowa) is tremendous. Michele Conlon (the HTRC director) does a great job and they have always been welcoming when we have had to use the facility in the past.”
The HTRC also will host the Class 1A team championship this year with the 2A meet to be held at the new Waukee Northwest High School Tennis complex. Byrnes Park will continue as the host of the 1A singles and doubles.
There also will be a change for the postseason. An all-in team postseason will be implemented this spring. All varsity teams with at least six eligible participants on April 1 will be placed in team tennis substates. Assignments for these team substates will be completely separated from the district (singles and doubles) tennis assignments.
That differs from past years when the results of singles and doubles district play determined the substate team participants.
The state tournament will now be an eight-team, two-day competition for each classification. This required the addition of a second day. Seeding for substate and state tournament play will be determined via coaches’ meetings and votes.